Nothing is real, unless the 'evil media' say it is. Take the
recent derby involving the two teams from Manchester for example.
The media coverage leading up to this game was drenched in a demand
for sympathy and respect for those who died in the Munich air
disaster. This being the 50th anniversary it was apparently even
The minute's silence that was planned for the game itself was
the subject of most of this demand for respect. Those suspected
of not doing were branded as chavs, hooligans, ignorant and indicative
of everything that is wrong with society. The minutes silence
went ahead and it was 'impeccably observed'.
But it wasn't real. In truth it was never observed. The silence
was not real, it was fake, a plastic silence. This media fuelled
demand for respect had aided the creation of a false reality,
one in which the desired outcome was enforced in order to manage
the apparent truth, the reality. Why? Because as well as the constant
moral guidance we were fed by right minded journalists and politicians,
threats to name and shame those who did not respect the silence
and a wall of ignorance from those who refused to listen to any
views which went beyond the socially constructed morality that
guides us to respect things such as a public mourning, fans were
informed that should they choose to disrespect the silence they
would be banned from both football clubs for life. What occurred
in that football ground on Sunday was not respect but fear. It
was not real but fake. It was not the truth, it was a false reality.
Had it of been disrespected this would have been fake also. The
notion of a minutes silence should have never been allowed to
infect football culture in the first place. People die everyday.
Yet there is no public mourning for them and no media outcry at
the state of society for the lack of respect given to them in
the realm of the public. When a dead celebrity dies or footballer
is given a minutes silence, respect is demanded, and any questioning
of this demand is labelled with a spurious and simplistic understanding
of morality, one which is socially constructed and as far from
the truth as is the respect given to it. Because in truth, when
you enforce your own morals on a culture you shouldn't be surprised
if the existing morals of that culture reject them and resent
being told they must respect them. On the surface it is disrespectful
to act in a way which may upset those who want to mourn. But those
who want too are free to mourn in private and with those who wish
to mourn with them; just as is everyone else when they feel the
need to mourn. Enforcing this mourning on others removes any truth
in the notion of ignoring this demand as disrespect.
Each supporter was also given a free scarf to hold up during
the silence and throughout the game. This looked amazing and contributed
to the atmosphere. But it was not real. It was constructed in
order to meet the desired effect. It would have been real if people
had brought their own scarves and held them up. It would look
the same but this time it would be real as it was not constructed.
This is the Media's contribution to the prophylaxis of football
culture. The media aid this control of and eradication of existing
norms through their demands for certain forms of behaviour, with
outrage when their own morality is ignored and by labelling people,
such as me, with blanket terminology like chav scum for ignoring
these demands. This media driven social and cultural cleansing
exists not just in football culture but in society in general.